COVID-19 Resources

The National Federation of the Blind is closely monitoring the COVID-19 emergency, which is changing everyone’s lives but has unique effects on blind people.

The health and safety of all of our members, colleagues, and friends is always our top priority. This page provides resources that may be particularly useful to blind people facing challenges during the emergency. 

General News and Information

Access to COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Survey

The National Federation of the Blind is gathering data to monitor and challenge access barriers for blind people to COVID-19 vaccines and tests. It is vital that blind and low-vision Americans receive the same opportunities and tools to participate in ending this public-health threat as others do. Please complete a five- to fifteen-minute survey regarding your experience with COVID-19 vaccines and testing. 
 

Medical and Healthcare Services

Government Payments and Benefits

  • CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: One aspect of the most recent COVID-19 relief law, the CARES Act, is an Economic Impact Payment for most Americans. Please review our Economic Impact Payments guide that provides some general information about who is eligible and how much you can expect to receive.
  • Unemployment Insurance, Social Security Retirement or Disability, and Supplemental Security Income: Unemployment insurance is a state and federal program that usually provides temporary, partial replacement of wages for employees who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The CARES Act made a number of changes to UI law that may benefit blind people. Please review our unemployment insurance fact sheet.

Education

Transportation

Because some jurisdictions are halting or limiting public transportation, there is concern regarding transportation available to blind people who need to travel to buy essentials or for testing or other medical reasons. If you are not sure of the status of public transportation in your area or need additional transportation options, please contact your affiliate president.

Affiliate Connection for State and Local Resources

With directives being different from state to state, connect with your affiliate president or point of contact in order to find state and local resources. This includes transportation, grocery delivery, volunteer services, and more.

Breaking News from the NFB

Read the latest news in the NFB press room.

Jernigan Institute

Per the March 23, 2020 executive order of the Maryland governor regarding the closure of non-essential businesses, the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute will be closing until further notice. However, we will continue our important work remotely for now. Connect with leaders or staff via phone or email. For a contact directory, please call 410-659-9314 and select option 3. While much of our program service continues, this closure means we are not able to operate our Independence Market resulting in our inability to ship literature and materials to blind people including our free white cane program.

Ongoing Efforts

For more information about COVID-19 and its effects on the blind community, please read "Coming Together During COVID-19: Concerns and Connections" from our blog. The National Federation of the Blind continues to identify and advocate for resources and support for blind people, and to create our own support systems where needed. If you know of additional resources or have ideas you want to share, please email [email protected]nfb.org.